For a third year, University's Diversity Council singled out as one of nation's best


UA's Diversity Council has been honored by the National Association of Diversity Councils for its "extraordinary efforts and results" in advancing inclusive excellence principles on campus.

UA was the only university nationally to be presented with the association's Heart & Hustle Award. Only one other nonprofit was singled out for the honor.

Here at the award presentation in Washington, D.C., are, from left, Philip Bailey, executive director of the National Association of Diversity Councils; Lee Gill, UA's associate vice president for inclusion and equity and chief diversity officer; Natalie Pesantez, manager of client relationships for the association; and Dr. Rosa Githiora, UA's associate director of multicultural programs.

The award is new for 2013, exclusive to nonprofits. Previously, nonprofits were judged alongside major corporations in the association's ranking of top diversity councils across the nation. UA has been ranked in the top 25 each of the last two years, keeping company with such giants as FedEx, Comcast and American Airlines.

"The award demonstrates that our framework for meeting our inclusive excellence challenges — student success foremost — is a model for others to follow," said Lee Gill, associate vice president for inclusion and equity and the University's chief diversity officer. "The recent changes we've made to the Diversity Council should further enhance the effectiveness of our council and make us competitive for this and other recognition for years to come."

Expanding use of best practices

Based on a best-practices model, the council has been reconstituted to include representation from each college. The changes will make it easier for the colleges to build inclusive excellence goals into their educational, research, hiring and service missions, and to set a course to meet those goals. Learn more and see who serves on the council.

In presenting the Heart & Hustle award to the University, the association cited the composition of UA's Diversity Council as a strength. The council continues to have representation from students, the community and the administration.

Referring to the University, association Executive Director Philip Bailey said, "We think they have 'heart and hustle' in their efforts and results, and they deserve to be recognized by other higher education institutions as an example to emulate."

See also:

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Universities honored for diversity and inclusion initiatives.